If you're like most people, purchasing your home will be the biggest investment you'll ever make. It's very important to prepare as best you can. I will outline the Top Ten Mistakes Made By Home Buyers. By keeping them in mind, you'll help create a successful and much more enjoyable experience.

(1) Looking for a home without being pre-approved. As a potential buyer competing for a property, you'll have a better chance of getting your offer accepted by being as prepared as possible. A complete stranger (buyer) is asking you (seller) to take your property off the market for at least the next two to three weeks while they apply for a loan. As the seller, lets consider the type of buyer you'd prefer to deal with. Neither pre-qualified nor pre-approved, this buyer provides no evidence that they can afford to purchase your property. Pre-qualified this buyer has met with a mortgage broker (or lender) and discussed their situation. The buyer provided you with a letter from the broker stating an opinion of what the buyer can afford. Pre-approved this buyer has provided a broker written evidence of income, expenses, assets, liabilities and credit. As a result, much of the paperwork for this buyer's loan has been completed. They provide you with a letter (pre-approval certificate) from the lender. You're as certain as possible that this buyer can close. As a potential buyer, you can see that being pre-approved will give you the best chance of getting your offer accepted.

(2) Making verbal agreements. If you're asked to sign a document containing instructions contrary to your verbal agreements--don't! For example, the seller verbally agrees to include the washing machine in the sale, but the written purchase contract excludes it. Do not expect oral agreements to be enforceable.

(3) Choosing a lender just because they have the lowest rate. While the interest rate is important, consider the total cost of your loan including the APR , loan fees, discount and origination points.

(4) Not receiving a Good Faith Estimate. Within three business days after the broker or lender receives your loan application, you must receive a written statement of fees associated with the transaction. This is both the law and the best way to determine what you'll pay for your loan.

(5) Not getting a rate lock in writing. When a mortgage company tells you they have locked your rate, get a written statement detailing the interest rate, the length of the rate lock, and program details.

(6) Using a dual agent--i.e., an agent who represents the buyer and the seller in the same transaction. Buyers and sellers have opposing interests. Sellers want to receive the highest price, buyers want to pay the lowest price. In the standard real estate transaction, the seller pays the real estate commission. When an agent represents both buyer and seller, the agent can tend to negotiate more vigorously on behalf of the seller. As a buyer, you're better off having an agent representing you exclusively.

(7) Buying a home without professional inspections. Unless you're buying a new home with warranties on most equipment, it's highly recommended that you get property, roof and termite inspections. Inspection reports are great negotiating tools when asking the seller to make needed repairs.

(8) Not shopping for home insurance until you are ready to close. Start shopping for insurance as soon as you have an accepted offer. Many buyers wait until the last minute to get insurance and do not have time to shop around.

(9) Signing documents without reading them. Whenever possible, review in advance the documents you'll be signing. It's unlikely that you'll have sufficient time to read all the documents during the closing appointment.

(10) Not allowing for delays in the transaction. In a perfect world, all real estate transactions close on time. In the world we live in, transactions are often delayed a week or more. Suppose you asked your landlord to terminate your lease the day your purchase transaction was scheduled to close. A day or two before your scheduled closing date, you discover your transaction is delayed a week. In a perfect world, no one is inconvenienced and your landlord is willing to work with you. More likely, however, your landlord is inconvenienced and angry. Terminate your lease one week after your real estate transaction is scheduled to close. That way, if there is a delay in closing your transaction, you have some leeway. This approach might cost a little more, then again, it might not.

Have an opinion or a question you would like me to answer, then write me! http://www.carlhampton.com

“Your” Money Matters By Carl Hampton the bestselling Author of “From Credit Despair To Credit Millionaire” http://www.CarlHampton.com http://www.fcdtcm.com
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